Visiting the past

A few years ago, I rented a tiny tiny teeny-weeny apartment in the suburbs of Tokyo. It was nothing special, it wasn’t posh nor luxurious, but it was home. The light lingered in the windows a little longer during spring, and during the winter we made sure to be cozy and warm.

Life has a funny way to bring back memories and we “accidentally” went back to this place. We didn’t plan it. It just happened we visited the past on a sunny afternoon to say goodbye.

Somos negros, indios, europeos, asiáticos: Somos Latinoamérica

Crecí en Latinoamérica, aprendi que el multilingüismo y multiculturalismo pueden coexistir en pacifica  convivencia. También aprendi que a las personas no se clasificaban en razas, ni se les juzga por el color de la piel. Aprendí que banderas, limites fronterizos, himnos y pasaportes no necesariamente significaban división porque somos Latinoamérica, somos un solo corazón, una misma alma, somos uno solo. 

Y diciendo esto, tengo que decir que me rompe el corazón ver como grupos que tratan de reivindicar nuestra cultura aborigen están destruyendo monumentos de la época colonial. Voy a ser clara, la cultura aborigen merece todo nuestro respeto, y sí, (la cultura aborígen) debe ser apreciada, inculcada y enseñada en los colegios, universidades, centros educacionales. Y debe tener un espacio especial en la media. Los canales de televisión deberían dar espacio (por mandato) a la cultura aborigen, podríamos empezar por programas simples dirigidos a niños. Los periódicos podrían tener editoriales dedicadas a cultura aborigen, las radios podrían entrevistar a personas especializadas en cultura aborigen. Si usamos nuestra creatividad, y ponemos nuestras cabezas juntas podremos encontrar maneras de darle un lugar de honor a la cultura aborigen sin recurrir a la violencia. 

Sin embargo, la historia puede ser frustrante, pero es historia. No podemos cambiarla, lo que podemos hacer es aprender de ella, buscar caminos alternativos, nuevas maneras de crear unidad, pero queriendo borrar parte de nuestra identidad no nos ayudara a cerrar heridas, por el contrario, abriremos nuevas brechas en nuestras sociedades. 

Si desean protestar háganlo, pero sin copiar a las Estados Unidos, que es un país en caos, y que no posee una cultura tradicional como tenemos en Latinoamérica. Estados Unidos no es modelo a seguir para ningún país. 

En Estados Unidos hay serios problemas raciales que están relaciones con discriminación, y segregación. La época de segregación se dio desde finales de 1877 hasta 1950, la segregación fue una época en que las personas de descendencia Africana tenían prohibido ir a escuelas, piscinas, hospitales designadas para personas blancas. E incluso las personas afro-americanas, especialmente mujeres, no pudieron votar hasta 1965. Esos problemas nunca sucedieron en Latinoamérica. 

Y lo más importante, en Latinoamérica todos hemos puesto nuestro grano de arena para la formación de la hermosa cultura nuestra. Todos hemos aportado nuestro “alguito” como se dice. Todos somos negros, indios, europeos, asiáticos. Todos somos Latinoamérica. 

#coronavirus: uncomfortable reflections

#coronavirus interrupted our lives, destroyed business, killed people (still does), and fills our days with uncertainty and fear. And yet, somehow, we are the lucky ones, the ones that are surviving a global pandemic. A global pandemic, so tragic that we have to look back to the past, a hundred years ago to create a parallel to understand our current situation. The Spanish flu (whose origins are in Kansas, USA. If you don’t believe me, you are free to google it) killed about 50 million people worldwide.

Did the world learn something from that tragedy? Did we become a better society? Well, no, because a while after recovering from such a disaster, we had another war, the famous and disgraceful WWII.

People fascinate me. And one of the reasons people fascinate me is because I find our behavior self-destructive. We need to stick together to survive, We know we need each other, and yet we seem determined to finish the other.

We start by creating division.

Our excuses are lame. Our reasons are something like these:

  • The people from the country next to us are not as sophisticated as we are.
  • We don’t like them because they are different from us.
  • We don’t like them because they are black.
  • We don’t like them because they are brown.
  • We don’t like them because they are not from here.
  • We don’t like them because their language is different from ours.
  • We don’t like them because their religion is different from ours.
  • We don’t like them because they are transgender.
  • We don’t like them because they are not like us.

What is wrong with being different? When being different became a crime?

Our time on this earth is limited, why do we keep strengthening the divisions?

  • What do you win by insulting the immigrants next door?
  • What do you win by hurting transgenders?
  • What do you win by supportive conservative governments?
  • What do you win by putting racist misogynist people in power?

Do you think hurting the vulnerable is going to put you in a better position in society? Attacking immigrant children is going to make you great?

We didn’t learn anything from 1918 flu, but let’s be sure to take a lesson from this #coronavirus 2020. And we certainly didn’t hold the USA Government accountable for the outbreak of AIDS, and swine flu. Why are attacking China so badly? Why do we look down on them? I, personally, won’t allow any hatred toward China to spread either. Do not believe the people who divide us, do not pay attention to them. Think, read, and research for information on your own.

We need change. But if after this ordeal, you choose to be the same, that’s on you and that’s your prerogative (I guess), but please do not stand in our way. Do not stand on the way of those who want change. Change is happening whether you like it or not. Change is happening, no matter how hard it is for you to understand it. Change is happening because we want a better society, where people are respected.

If we have survived the #coronavirus then it is our duty to make it worth it, it is our duty to live a life that inspires and triggers change. This is our duty as the survivors of this era.

Drawing by Yoneko Shiraishi

Rest in power: George Floyd

#icantbreath

A country on the verge of revolution, a nation divided for centuries of systemized racism, a president who attacks his owns citizens, and people who judge from their privilege. Everything is too painful to understand. Everything is too confusing to make sense of it all.

The news flow like stained-blood rivers.
And although it’s hard to know who to believe and what to believe, we have to keep in mind that we can not continue with the system that allows cops to kill people, innocent people because of the colour of their skin.

We cannot allow our society to validate stereotypes. We cannot decide people’s character based on the colour of their skin, nationality, gender, religion, or sexual preference.

All this is happening because we haven’t been listening to the African American communities, injustice has gone too far for too long.
We must change society, and for that, we must change ourselves, the way we think, the way we see people who are different from us. We cannot judge them. I have seen people posting awful remarks against the protestors. Yes, protestors. The looting is just a small part of the problem. And in various cases, I know white supremacists groups are organizing themselves to loot to later blame it on the protestors.

It is devastating to see that even when the world is in chaos people are unwilling to empathize or at least to listen. Sometimes, it seems that there is no hope. And yet, we have young people who are protesting on the streets, and those who are not able to go on the streets are keeping guard sharing important information on the web, making videos, and making information accessible for all.

Maybe our generation’s mission is to guide the young and new. Or perhaps, it is us who should learn from them and unlearn the prejudice and hostility that the different and new bring in us.

Toilet paper: The King

Drawing by Yoneko Shiraishi

“There is no more toilet paper,” he says with a ghastly expression in his innocent face.

“Don’t worry,” I reassure him, I put on a brave face but I am not sure we can get anymore, anytime soon.

We walked from store to store receiving the same quite negative.

This situation, in a country, like Japan was impossible just a few weeks ago. But here we are begging stores for what we took for granted.

Life can change from day to day, so I will never take anything for granted, even toilet paper, which is now the king of our shopping list.

We moved to a quieter part of town, where we find a small, almost empty store but with rolls of toilet paper at its entrance. We found gold.

Lights on the dark streets

I found myself lost in the dark streets of an unknown district, I wasn’t alone but the shadows were swallowing it all, and we both felt uneasy, and yet I discovered these lights that stood as brave soldiers shielding us from our fears like brave silent warriors.

Emotions

Hope you enjoy it :)

Emotions and thoughts gather at night to remind me of my mistakes, my flaws, and the unworthiness of my existence. So many emotions, so many thoughts, I don’t fight them anymore, I can’t fight them anymore. 


I let them crawl over me like dark spiders; dark spiders whose eyes shine in the obscurity of the night. They knit their web around my hands, they tie my hands and my fingers until they bleed. 

Fear and anxiety blur my thoughts, my vision and I can only see walls, impossible goals, and heartache. 

I can’t write. 


The sunrise scares them away, and their spell disappears momentarily, long enough for me to write these lines. 

They are gone long enough for me to believe they might not come back. But they do, they always come back. They don’t forget me. They can’t. For I am their mother, their creator, and master.

Drawings, doodles, and self-portraits

I am living busy days, some even would say life-changing days, but nothing is set on stone. Not just yet. We might as well keep dreaming and let time pass.
The uncertainty takes my mind into a spiral of mixed emotions. My mind resembles a puddle of standing water that looks calm on the outside but festers below the surface. My thoughts do not flow freely, and even worse, they always go back to the same dark place.
But my drawings, my characters, and little muses come to my rescue. They guide my hand to the pencil, and slowly what was dark becomes colourful, peaceful and even cheerful.

And sometimes, I draw self-portraits just to have fun

Facebook: 20,000

I lie on my bed playing with the keyboard, putting words and badly-taken photos together. All cramped in a sort of shapeless puzzle. It’s thrilling, exciting and scary.

Excitement runs through my veins and I am transformed by the words. I come back to my senses and the post is “ready”, I want to publish it but the jitters hold me back. Then a little voice in my head says “Nobody will ever see your posts. Nobody is going to care. So, go on”

“Nobody will ever see your posts. Nobody is going to care,” I mimic the voice. And in an automaton-like movement, I follow its instructions and click publish.

This happened on June, 25th at 9:00 pm. And here we are two years and a half years later. It’s been two years of growing, learning, and loving my limitations. I am not perfect neither as a writer or person, but I certainly have material to entertain you 😉

Thank you for sticking around, for always leaving good vibes. And especially, thank you for not letting me be invisible.

Star Wars: Women empowerment

The screen blinds me for a few seconds, and then, the story starts unfolding before our eyes . I cry, I laugh and I accompany the hero in her journey. I feel close to her as if I were a friend.

And when she fights the baddies, Oh boy! I can’t help but feel pride. 

Rei, the main character is unlike any other hero I’ve come across. First of all, let me tell you that I’m not a fan of action movies but for Rei, I make an exception. And you have to know that I’m a very critical person when it comes to choose role moles, and Rei has passed my high standards of my censorship.

She is modest, and even her clothes, which are not sexy at all make her look stronger. She doesn’t need to show her breasts, legs or even rely on a man to help her fight for what she believes is right. 

Rei is the modern hero, modern gals need. Star Wars is surprisingly standing and encouraging women empowerment all around the galaxy.